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    I feel obligated to get this. I could work in our room... Am I crazy for considering this? Also, it's $35. Adorable cow and calf. Cute as a button, because that's her name. Another weekend, another window. Bigger, better, and brighter!

The Rachael

Nope, not referring to the popular 90′s Jennifer Aniston hair style that took the country by storm.  Meet our new sofa, Rachael by Flexsteel.  She’s slim, clean lined, and slightly vintage styled to play nicely with the MCM bench.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room

We sold the old three-piece sectional and put that money toward the new girl.  With nine button tufts along the back, there’s just enough interest on the tight back.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Toward-Dining

The fabric color, Earth, leans more beige in bright light, but gray in overcast conditions.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Back-Detail

Ben really wanted leather, but I think this tweed like textured fabric adds a lot of comfort and warmth.  I paired with a faux cow hide pillow for a dash of Western flare.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Arm-Detail

Flexsteel offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, springs, and cushions, which should hold up to the four Y chromosome people in this house.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Toward-Entry

Now to find chairs to place perpendicular to the couch.  I’d love to add something leather here, assuming we find something we agree on.  Much easier said than done.

While we were at the furniture store, we noticed another Flexsteel brand sofa, the Dana, in the clearance section.  Priced at $600, we took Frank from American Picker’s trick and bundled to save over three hundred dollars, including a fabric warranty plan on the Rachael.

Flexsteel-Dana-Sofa-in-Family-Room-Toward-Kitchen

The fabric is slightly darker and more on the gray side, but a real upgrade from our old couch.

Flexsteel-Dana-Sofa-in-Family-Room

Slightly rolled arms are more traditional in style than I usually like, but still small enough to fit the space.

Flexsteel-Dana-Sofa-in-Family-Room-Arm-Detail

Taller legs on both couches make vacuuming under a breeze, too.  So far, I’m pleased with the new additions.  Fingers crossed we can say that years from now.

Goodness Gray-cious

My quest to repaint the entry, living, and dining rooms took a lot longer than I expected.  First painting the new crown and waiting for it to thoroughly dry.  Next, a last coat on the tongue and groove wall.

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-with-Horns

Followed up with a first coat of paint on the walls.  Then tackling the ceiling where my shoulder and neck started cramping.  I ran out of wall paint and went back to get a third gallon, but we had issues matching the color, so the walls are slightly different from my original color.  But, now these dingy peach walls:

MCM-Sofa-in-Living-Room

Are no more.  Totally worth the days of plowing through.  Instead we’ve got fresh light gray walls to bounce the light around.  Make no mistake, the room is still one thousand miles from done, but much improved.

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl

And hey, we’ve got a solid color.  No more patched sheet rock or paint swatches.

Dining-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl

Unfortunately, I can’t say they’ll stay that way forever.  The too tall French door will become a standard window and the bay window a sliding door.  After replacing the windows, we’ll update the window trim to match the rest of the house.  If I nail down my stair railing plan soon enough, we might be able to replace it soon, too.  Say it with me, no more orange stained oak!

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl-with-Stairs

For now, I’m just happy to have baseboard (and the entertainment center toe kick!) and blank walls.

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl-Black-Chair

This was unfinished far, far too long.

Herringbone-Plant-Pot-and-Thrifted-Chair-Overall

Whenever I paint, I pull out every nail, patch it, and then start anew.  Which is why I have only a few frames on the walls.  Still deciding on the rest.

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl-Window

Even so, I’m not desperate to slap things up in an attempt to hide something ugly on the walls.

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl-Behind-Sofa

And that’s the power of paint.  Or love, as Huey Lewis might say.  Sweet, sweet victory.  Even if I will have to do it all over again after windows.

Hung Up on Horns

I’ve still got one coat of paint to finish the ceiling, but the rest of the entry, living, and dining room painting is done.  It’s amazing how much lighter and brighter everything looks.  Especially the entry.  Boy has it come a long way over the last month or so.  We started with this beige box of ugliness:

Entry-Problems-and-Plans

And now we’ve got a modernized, slightly rustic, light space.

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-with-Horns

Peachy beige walls looked sad and dingy, especially against my vintage Longhorns.

West-Elm-Mobile-Light-in-Entry-from-Dining

To create a light backdrop with warm texture (not the heavy knock down), Ben hung tongue and groove pine planks.

Tongue-and-Groove-Entry-Wall-Install

Installing simple crown moulding throughout the room for a crisp edge helped finish off the top of the accent wall.

Tongue-and-Groove-Entry-Wall-from-Living-Room

And giving it three good coats of white paint to finish it off for a neutral backdrop.

Sofa-and-Chairs-in-Living-Room-Toward-Stairs

Along with the freshly painted light gray walls, the room feels clean and fresh.

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-with-Horns-Detail

Not only does the tongue and groove cover the giant wall of knock down, it also acts as a huge stud wall.  Planks nailed into studs every 16 inches are completely secure, and the boards can easily hold the weight of art.

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-with-Railing

 

Don’t the horns and light fixture contrast nicely now?

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-from-Front-Door

Once our new windows come in, hopefully next week, we’ll replace the door and window.

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-with-Console

Usually a fully white wall feels sterile and cold to me, but the knots and grooves keep it interesting.

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-in-Living-Room

I’ve never had an accent wall, but I have to say I love it.  Seeing the horns and light against it just makes me giddy.  My parents will be here soon, and I’m excited for my mom to see her horns proudly displayed.

The Ole Switcharoo

Unfortunately I’m still not finished painting the entry, living and dining rooms like I had hoped.  However, I did get a first coat on the ceiling and walls.  We hauled the big furniture out so I didn’t have to work around it.

Painting-Living-Room-Ceiling-Empty-Room

While the sectional was out, I fully realized how much the big beast closed off the room.  Though I still have another coat to put on the ceiling, we moved the sofa, chairs, and coffee table to the living room.

Sofa-and-Chairs-in-Living-Room-Overall

When we replace the sectional, I want a normal sofa and two chairs.  It’s amazing how much bigger, brighter, and more open the living room feels now.  Walking completely around the couch is possible when it wasn’t before.

Sofa-and-Chairs-in-Living-Room-Overall-2

Seeing the open railing, and those coming in the door, is a great perk, too.  And having easy access to end tables?  It’s so convenient.

Sofa-and-Chairs-in-Living-Room-Toward-Stairs

Cozy upholstered chairs would be nice along with a long, rectangular coffee table.

Sofa-and-Chairs-in-Living-Room-Toward-Dining

After nearly two years of living here with the same furniture arrangement, this feels so fresh and inviting.  And gives us an idea of what we want as replacement stuff.

Sofa-by-Living-Room-Window

For now, the sectional awaits its fate in the family room.  Where it awkwardly fills the space.

Sectional-in-Family-Room-Toward-Fireplace

Though there’s still enough walking space to get to the back door, it’s much more cut off than the previous layout.

Sectional-in-Family-Room-Walking-Space

Most strange is the focal point it has to face.  The wall and entry.

Sectional-in-Family-Room-Direction

The behemoth is 10 feet wide by 7 feet long, so it won’t fit in the 14 foot wide family room any other way.

Sectional-in-Family-Room-from-Kitchen

Another annoying thing about this?  If centered on the rug, it’s close to the fireplace when lit.

Sectional-in-Family-Room-from-Stairs

Finally moving things around has made us even more sure we want to replace the sectional with a standard sofa and chairs.  Now to agree on the perfect couch, which is more difficult for us than it should be.  Ben wants leather, I want something with removable, flippable seat cushions.  Typically those two don’t go together, so a compromise must be made.

Worse Before Better

We’re making progress in the family room, after leaving it nearly the same since move in.

Honed-Marble-End-Table-Top-Left-Side-of-Living-Room

This is what progress looks like:

Living-Room-with-Crown-Installed

Yes, at first, progress always looks like a big mess.  It has to get worse before it can look better.  We pulled down the old, upside down (?!) crown before installing the new trim.  I forgot to take pictures, but here you can see it in the basement:

Basement-Crown-Upside-Down

We know the previous owner liked to do things his own way, but we’re not fans of the look.  Especially compared to properly installed crown via This Old House:

So, down came the old stuff, leaving small nail holes in the ceiling.  Filling with joint compound isn’t difficult, just another step added to my list.  Two if you count sanding.

Living-Room-Crown-Installed-Ceiling-Touch-ups

Along with caulking seams and filling nail holes in the new trim.  While I had the filler out, I removed all nails and spackled old nail holes (there were many).

Living-Room-Crown-Installed-and-Filled

Trim around the entry hasn’t gotten the full treatment yet, but will once we break the ladders out.  After that, painting the last white coat and walls.

Entry-with-Crown-Installed

We’re crownless in parts of the dining room until we swap the door for a window with a header.  At that point, we’ll run a solid piece across.

Dining-Room-Without-Crown

For now, and hopefully not much longer, we have a lovely patchwork of colors and textures.

Living-Room-Crown-Patched-Areas

I’m carving out time this week to get the trim, ceiling, and walls painted.

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